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Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “You must do the things you think you cannot do.” Avoiding disease may be the gift of lucky genetics, but it helps to put some work into managing your chances for health and longevity.

The social distancing guidelines that have affected our lives for almost 12 months now are certainly necessary for our physical health, but there is no denying that they can (and do) take a toll on our mental health. For older adults, especially, this effect can be profound. While we at the …

I love my new kitchen knives. It’s funny because we were talking about knives at a Rotary Club meeting just before Christmas. That’s when I mentioned that mine were really dull. Someone suggested talking to Rotarians Bob and Suzanne Lane. They own the Gray Goose Cookery on Watch Hill Road in…

Despite the best efforts of some determined to educate their fellow citizens and Town Council regarding the pitfalls surrounding new-age zoning tools and the very questionable and possibly corrupt new “Official November 2019 Comp Plan Working Draft,” our Town Council would listen to none of …

‘It was like going through hell,” he said. A friend had developed facial shingles, involving his ear, and despite medication the pain continued for weeks. So what is the best way to prevent an attack of shingles? Take action quickly. If you delay, you’ll wish you hadn’t when the pain from he…

In a year like this, it feels like there is no reason not to spread holidays out longer than the one calendar day they’re given (you don’t want to know how long I left my Christmas tree up.) So, even though Valentine’s Day has passed, there’s no reason not to keep the romance alive. The libr…

A New Englander who decamped the colonies for England, I watch U.S. politics with some anxiety. I am accustomed to the prevalent view overseas that U.S. politics is theater. I continually squirm in my Royal Circle seat watching Democrat and Republican players enter and exit from Stage Left a…

In these trying times, I am sure many of you have recently lost your jobs. Whether you work in restaurants, movie theaters, retail stores or at the casinos, the economic downturn from the coronavirus has certainly affected everyone, some worse than others. All you need to do is watch the nig…

When the team played their games at the Hartford Civic Center, my friend, Leon, invited me to go to watch the UConn Huskies basketball team. (This was before it was renamed the XL Center.) I was pretty excited. The crowd was electrifying. The cheering, the clapping, the anticipation, all add…

In December, HBO aired the documentary “The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” which told of how the British band faced both professional and personal hardships in the wake of the anti-disco backlash, despite an impressive run from 1975-79 that included eight No. 1 hits and five Top…

It’s plainly evident that many people are eating too much. But several serious eating disorders can be harder to see, especially when they deliberately hide the problem. Recent research indicates that pandemic-related stay-at-home orders have ramped up anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorders.

The new books (as well as DVDs and audio CDs) have been flying in lately! There are so many great new releases, from absolutely fascinating tomes about the most esoteric of subjects to books on social issues to the latest novels by popular authors like James Patterson and Danielle Steel. No …

I heard Leslie Huikko speak to a group a few weeks ago, and she wasn’t just the requisite speaker recruited for a meeting, she was compelling because she made sense. A lot of it.

I can imagine that the last word you want to hear about in these times of trying to stay loyal to your New Year’s resolutions is the “D” word, or diet. That said, your diet can and does play an important role in brain health. I went to ALZ.org to learn more about diet and brain health, and w…

I watched in horror as it came tumbling down. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. I tried to reach out to grab anything I could put my hands on. I wanted to minimize some of the damage. Within a few seconds the bookcase, with my entire presidential library, was reduced to rubble. Eve…

Professional sporting events have never been entirely about the game. Team owners, player sponsorships, media contracts, ticket sales, and merchandising licenses are the playgrounds of big business. But the tiniest of offensive players, the novel coronavirus, has upended the sporting world. …

My recent obsession is to search on Airbnb, looking at places in faraway (and even not-so-faraway) destinations. I love looking at the photos of the hosts’ homes and the local sights and landmarks. At the moment, I am fixated on Iceland, but the location I search could change at any moment d…

With winter’s coldest months upon us, we are all looking for ways to beat the frigid temperatures. Local residents want to know how to stay warm and safe this winter. Electrical fires in our homes claim the lives of 280 Americans each year. Your local fire department wants you to know that w…

Have you ever tried to get dressed in the dark? I have. I’m up early on Sunday mornings. I don’t want to bother Lori so I grab my clothes, get dressed and get out of the bedroom without turning on the lights. There’s normally just enough ambient light to see what I need to see. The problem w…

Lately, I find myself forgetting things at an alarming rate. In order to not panic, I chalk it up to stress taking its toll. I tend to stress under normal circumstances, but let’s face it, 2021 is making 2020 look like a walk in the park. Anyway, through very minimum research and skimming ov…

We recently wrote about the gut microbiome – the remarkable digestive ecosystem that influences how nutrients and bacteria contribute to weight management, organ function, and even our mental health. But did you know there is a soil microbiome, and that this too affects your health? It turns…

Weeks before he got the cartons from the liquor store and packed up his personal souvenirs, household furnishings, gold faucets and toilet seats, etc., President Donald Trump did what other presidents had done before him. He pardoned people. Of course in his overblown style it appeared he pa…

Veterans and families of veterans, it is time to get your winter coat at no cost. A Coats4Vets distribution event will be held on Feb. 13 from 1-3 p.m. at Wakefield Elementary School, 101 High Street, South Kingstown. All sizes are available, from children to adult. Preregistration is reques…

I wasn’t offended at all. I brought a colleague to the Rotary Club meeting. When I introduced him to one of the Rotartians at my table, he declared, “Now he looks like a minister!” Another person sitting across from me raised his eyebrows at the comment, and looked my way, waiting for my res…

A 57-year-old woman, receiving physiotherapy for an injured ankle, suddenly suffered a seizure, became unconscious, and was rushed to Emergency. The obvious diagnosis, a sudden stroke. But as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the English doctor and writer who created the fictional private detective, S…

"Date Night” may look a bit different these days, but the library is offering a great way to enjoy a night in. In lieu of our annual gala, Westerly Library and Wilcox Park has come up with a unique fundraiser that you can participate in from the comfort and safety of your own home. This Febr…

Words are powerful. The Bible opens with the image of God speaking a word and the whole creation coming into being. We innately understand their power. Words can be tools to build up. Words can also be used to crush and destroy. Harsh and condemning words can stick with a person their whole …

There seems to have been a surge in sports documentaries over the last few years. Either that, or I’m just noticing them more, which is a very real possibility as well. From “The Last Dance” (2020) about Michael Jordan’s career, to “Tiger” (2021), HBO’s brand-new two-parter about Tiger Woods…

In this world of COVID-19, it has never been more important to have your estate planning up to date, especially your health care directives and living will. We have all seen on the news the state of hospitals today, overrun with coronavirus patients to the point where visitors and family mem…

He said, “Hello, My name is Juan. I am the manager.” He immediately began showing me around the restaurant and asked if I had any questions. I couldn’t believe it. I wondered if he had mistaken me for someone else. He pointed out the carving stations, the salad bar, the dessert and the bever…

In recent months, public discourse surrounding the draft Comprehensive Plan has been dominated by concerns over two issues: proposed amendments to the definition of the Commercial Recreational zoning district, which constitutes 3.8% of the town’s land area; and a perceived lack of commitment…

Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher, wrote that “Silence is a source of great strength.” Possibly sound advice in some situations. But for people who’ve had a silent heart attack, silence is far from a virtue. In fact, according to a report from the University of California, up to one half of h…

Normally, I write about popular books. The new. The shiny. The ones that often have a waiting list due to high demand. Today, let’s talk about something different: the hidden gems in our collection. The incredibly charming, but seldom-borrowed. The overlooked. The ones that (lucky you!) are …

I couldn’t help but notice that my most recent article on helping you determine what was normal age-related memory loss and what was dementia-related behavior created a great deal of commentary from my readers. It was all positive, and since this is the time about 50% of the population makes…

On Dec. 15, 2014, Westerly town officials placed a legal ad in the Westerly Sun newspaper soliciting sealed Request for Qualifications, not to be confused with a Request for Quotation. The ad read, “The Town of Westerly proposes to retain the services of a firm to prepare for the Town of Wes…

Why is it that some people eat to their heart’s content and never gain a pound, while others gain weight with a glance at the plate? As Bill Gates said, “Life is not fair. Get used to it.” But fair or unfair, is there a complex, unseen system that plays a role in weight management for each of us?

During the past few months there have been many a weekend when my husband and I sit on the couch to watch YouTube. Generally, it starts with something in mind, say a Bruce Springsteen concert from the 1970s or a funny news clip. While much of what you find on YouTube is silly, you can find s…